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Opinion: Biden is no friend to Maduro

October 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MARCH 12: President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro talks during a press conference at Miraflores Government Palace on March 12, 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo by Carolina Cabral/Getty Images)

President Trump is falsely painting Joe Biden as a radical ally of the Latin American socialist strongman, writes former US State Department officer Amanda Mattingly, argues that Biden would be tougher on Nicolás Maduro and more likely to restore US leadership.

Venezuela suffers from a humanitarian, political and economic disaster thanks to Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chávez.

As successive authoritarian leaders, they have stripped away Venezuela's economic viability and democratic institutions while consolidating power.

The truth is that Biden is a moderate Democrat and American patriot who has a long record in the US Senate, and as vice president, of taking a tough stance on American adversaries -- like Maduro -- and of advocating for a smart, integrated US foreign policy in Latin America.

In early 2019, Biden recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim leader of Venezuela within weeks of Guaidó proclaiming himself the rightful President and calling for new, free and fair elections.

He knows that Biden will be a strong ally against Maduro and for efforts to bring about a peaceful democratic transition in Venezuela.

Right now, the US should be leading the efforts at the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Lima Group to promote a peaceful and democratic transition in Venezuela.

Rather than doubling down on cruel policies and draconian economic sanctions that squeeze the Venezuelan people -- but benefit the Maduro regime by offering him cover for his economic failures -- a new US-Venezuela policy should seek to help "el pueblo," the people.

For decades, we have provided the Cuban regime with an excuse for its own failed economic policies, and now we are doing the same for Venezuela.

Under a Biden administration, the US will regain its leadership in the region and work toward that day when Venezuela sees there is a peaceful, democratic transition.

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